I realised I never posted this here, but I was talking about football with my friends a while back, sometimes when The Shout of the Reds plays on my iTouch or when I see people in the Reds shirt, I get reminded of my time in Korea supporting the Reds and cheering along with the Koreans.
So here I am, sharing this experience with you!
I think I'm extremely fortunate to have been in Korea during the entire World Cup season that Korea was playing for. That said, if Korea had advanced to the final 8 or even the final 4, I seriously would have lengthened my stay. But it was not meant to be.
I was also lucky to have caught the Pre-World Cup Match that saw South Korea play against Ecuador. (You can read about my experience here if you haven't.) Because it was a perfect opportunity to see the Reds in action and the Koreans cheering them on live. It was absolutely phenomenal.
I made sure I caught all the S. Korea matches, be it in Seoul or out of Seoul, be it with tonnes of other people or just a small bunch of friends.
12 June 2010: South Korea VS. Greece (2:0) @ Jeonju Olympic Stadium
PS and I caught this match at Jeonju Olympic Stadium because we were supposed to be there for Star Concert, which got cancelled about 5 hours prior to the start because of non-existent rain. (I had another concert in May that was cancelled too.) Nonetheless, I'm glad we stayed on, because we had free Reds shirts from Hyundai and we got to experience the match in a smaller city apart from Seoul.
This is possibly my favourite matches because this was the only match that Korea won. After the match, it was utter madness. The streets of Jeonju were filled with people cheering. Cars drove past honking to the tune of "대한민국!" and everyone was in a great mood.
I was most excited about this trip because it was the first time I was going to somewhere in Seoul to watch a match. And I had heard that there would be celebrities at the event. In all, I got to see 4minute, BEG, F.Cuz and Son Ho Young. 4minute was awesome. The boys loved them. They loved BEG too. F.Cuz didn't get anyone grooving though. Jiggy is just...a bad song. I was so excited to see Son Ho Young cos' he's my favourite G.O.D. member of all time. Okay, I like the other members too, but he's the cutest. And so I literally jumped up with I saw him. And we had a couple of older acts like PSY and Kim Jang Hoon to sing old tunes like the older version of Big Bang's Sunset Glow (I don't know the older name!), SM Town's 여행을 떠나요 (Let's Go on a Vacation) and Sechskie's Couple. (OMG I AM SUCH AN OLD K-POP FAN I EVEN KNOW SECHKIES.)
Brown Eyed Girls
The match was so crazy. Everyone was so tense and Korea missed so many goals. But when Korea scored that ONE goal against Argentina before half-time, everyone went crazy. There was music and cheering. Sadly, as the match progressed to 3-1 in Argentina's favour, some Koreans started leaving. I was pretty upset that they didn't want to stay on. The rest of us did though. There were trains home anyway.
Oh and I got another free shirt from this event! It was from Adidas, but sponsored by SKT I believe. And I got a free red towel to wave around too. I love getting sponsored stuff during such events!
23 June 2010: South Korea VS. Nigeria (2:2) @ A Random Fried Chicken Shop
A lot of Koreans, and myself included, thought this was going to be an easy walkover considering how Korea thrashed Greece and Greece thrashed Nigeria. So by theory, Korea should thrash Nigeria, right? Wrong. Because it was one crazy match. I remember eating chicken and having to put it down every few minutes to focus on the match. Fried chicken, beer and soccer can never go wrong, by the way.
Youngkyu & a random cow we found in the Fried Chicken shop.
This match was at 3 AM and we had to go off to Damyang (a small town off Gwangju in Southern Korea) so we decided to watch the match at a Fried Chicken shop near our place. Plus our dear friend, Youngkyu (who's a NZ-Korean) had to leave that very morning right after the match, so it made sense to watch it somewhere nearer. Maria (my Swedish star-stalking buddy) also joined us and she walked all the way from her place because there were no more buses.
26 June 2010: South Korea VS. Uruguay (1:2) @ Ttukseom Resort
PS and I had just come home from Busan (Read about our Busan leg HERE.) at 8.30 PM and the match was at 11.00 PM. So we rushed like crazy to join Maria and Grace (Canadian-Korean girl who likes to call me her Mashimaro and wants to keep me in her pocket) at Ttukseom Resort for some ZE:A and Koyote. It was also the last time PS and I were going to meet Grace so I really wanted to catch the match with them. Turns out it wasn't too bad. ZE:A did impress me with their Michael Jackson choreography. If only they released Level Up sooner, I could have seen it live.
The match was so frustrating. Because everyone wanted it so badly. Korea had excellent ball possession, but little luck with scoring. On the other hand, Uruguay had little chances with the ball, but scored whenever they had the chance to. And that's how Korea lost out on being Top 8.
Koyote! Kim Jong Min! Shinji!
Grace, who is a big soccer fan, was close to tears after the match. I felt like crying too. Seeing how the Reds tried so hard but still ended up losing their chance to go one step closer to the World Cup. Our consolation was that the organisers decided to light up the fireworks anyway. So we had 2-3 minutes of fireworks as everyone walked off. It did feel good to see the fireworks. A nice way to end things off.
We bade good bye to Grace and then we rode one of the last trains home. (They extended the subway timings just so everyone could go home, luckily!)
All of us wearing red in support of the Reds! This was completely unplanned!
Labels: K-Pop Star Encounters